Dog becomes elector

A Queenstown man managed to enrol his Jack Russell dog, Toby, on the electoral roll listing his occupation as “rodent exterminator” and including a paw print on the form.

In my view New Zealand has possible the most lax regime in the developed world when it comes to ensuring only people entitled to vote, can enrol and vote. This is not the fault of the electoral agencies, but of the law.

There is no requirement to provide proof of identity when enrolling, or even when voting. There are no cross-checks against the births register, or a register of migrants who have permanent residency.

Personally I believe voting should be restricted to citizens, not just permanent residents (we are one of the very few countries where in law there is almost no difference between a citizen and a permanent resident) and that there should be a register of all citizens that the electoral roll is checked against.

Our current electoral enrolment system has so many flaws in it, that fraud is trivially easy to commit and never be detected.

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